We use retail scanner data on purchases of high calorie food to study the link between recreational marijuana laws (RMLs) and consumption of high calorie food. To do this we exploit differences in the timing of introduction of marijuana laws among states and find that they are complements. Specifically, in counties located in RML states, monthly sales of high calorie food increased by 3.1 percent for ice cream, 4.1 for cookies, and 5.3 percent for chips. Results are robust to including placebo effective dates for RMLs in treated states as well as when using synthetic control methods as an alternative methodology.
Baggio, M., & Chong, A. (2019). Recreational Marijuana Laws and Junk Food Consumption: Evidence Using Border Analysis and Retail Sales Data. SSRN Electronic Journal. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3328613